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What killed our duck?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Birdlady2248, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Birdlady2248

    Birdlady2248 New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2016
    Western Kentucky
    We found one of our ducks this morning about three feet from the bank in the shallow end of the pond. There is one small puncture wound, and the top bill is shredded. I am attaching three pictures. Can anyone tell us what would have inflicted this kind of damage?

    First, can anyone tell me how to post the pictures?
     
  2. quackers619

    quackers619 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    fayetteville,ga
    look at the top of the reply box to post a pic click on the icon that looks like a mountain with a sun and fallow the directions
     
  3. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm betting snapping turtle
     
  4. quackers619

    quackers619 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2015
    fayetteville,ga
    I 2nd that
     
  5. Birdlady2248

    Birdlady2248 New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2016
    Western Kentucky
    I dont see the picture icon but am posting from my phone, so that may make a difference.

    I have more experience than i want with a lot of predators but none with snapping turtles, so i have some questions.

    Do they just kill for the fun of it? Not so much as a bite was taken out of the duck. The only blood was from the small puncture wound on its chest.

    This pond is only about a year old. Do the turtles just show up and move in?

    We put fourteen ducks we had raised from day-olds on the pond in mid-May, and they had been fine until yesterday. We kept them fastened on a floating duck house for the first week, hoping they would consider it their safe haven, but we havent seen them back on it. Of course there is a worry now about protecting the other thirteen. Their behavior has changed in the last week in that they stayed together so much they looked like synchronized swimmers but have now started doing separate activities and have just now started laying.

    We put the carcass in a live trap on the bank last night, so maybe that will give us some information this morning.

    I would welcome any comments or suggestions.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    @Birdlady2248 How old are your ducks?

    Snapping turtles travel and will set up house keeping in any pond new or old. They will usually eat a large section out of a duck or eat small water fowl. A mink could be your predator although they usually go for the neck. Sounds like what ever got the duck grabbed hold of the bill and the duck probably put up a fight reason for bill being shredded. Only way to be sure it won't happen again is to lock them up at night in secure housing. Because once a predator finds an easy meal target they will be back and may bring along their family.

    Very sorry for your loss.
     
  7. Cherib603

    Cherib603 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounded to me like when the duck dunked it's head, the turtle grabbed the bill, then the duck tried to get out of the pond asap.

    Our little kiddie pool has attracted frogs and turtles from pretty far away, mostly, I think, due to the drought.
     
  8. Birdlady2248

    Birdlady2248 New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2016
    Western Kentucky
    I got the ducks in late March, so that would make them about five months old. And yes, the scenario of a turtle grabbing the bill while the duck had its head underwater is something we had thought of and makes sense. I still dont understand why none of the duck was eaten unless he came upon the scene right after it happened and before the turtle had time for a meal.

    This was one of our large Pekins, and we had only two of them. The day we put them on the floating duck house, i did a "quack" survey as we moved each duck and have been proven accurate on all but the two pekins as far as coloration and curly tails. I thought we had a pair, but it may have been two hens. We were mostly even on the sexes except for two indian runner drakes. Six mallards,three hens and three drakes, and two each of khaki campbells.

    Speaking of sexing birds, i had an unusual experience for me when i bought some day-old chicks this spring. Two of the "pullets" i bought turned out to be cockerels--and i had never bought a bird incorrectly sexed before out of several hundred. But i am thrilled with my cuckoo maran rooster. And i have a really pretty silver-laced wyandotte rooster that i need to pass along to a new owner. I am in western Kentucky if anyone would like to have him. But the strangest thing i did about the same time was reach into an assortment of straight-run banties and pull out eight pullets. I wish i had bought a lottery ticket that day because that had to be pure luck.

    As far as the ducks, i cant think of any way we could get them to go into a pen at night. The pond is probably over a quarter acre, and i doubt we could herd them. For what it's worth, the live trap was undisturbed thus morning.
     
  9. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Out Of The Brooder

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    Because you have such a large property and leave your ducks to do what they want when they want, you will be facing bigger predator issues than most of the people here, who have limited property and thus keep their animals penned up often.

    You might consider adding geese, which I read is good for alerting the group to other nearby predators.

    As for turtle predators, you won't know if it's around unless you see the signs of it first, or until your ducks come up with missing feet or bills. You can keep going to try to catch this turtle but you don't know when another moves in, or even if there are several right now. But having a large pond as yours, brings in all this kind of natural wildlife and so some of the ducks will be attacked, even in day time, as long as they are not penned up in your safe area.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Birdlady2248

    Birdlady2248 New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2016
    Western Kentucky
    Of course i realize that the ducks on the pond face more danger from predators than ducks locked up in a pen. Some years back i had at least 150 ducks and geese on a 50-acre lake that a bald eagle apparently considered his pantry. And the eagle attacked in the daytime. So i have had some experience with a number of predators but never turtles before, at least to my knowledge.

    I have spent a lot of time watching these ducks, and they seem very vigilant about what is going on around them. They react to any slight change such as a shadow flying over so quickly that i doubt a goose would have the opportunity to honk a warning before the ducks had realized the danger and already reacted. This attack from below by a turtle is new to me and i assume would be hard for the ducks to anticipate.

    It is hard to lose a bird, but it is a wonderful thing at least to me to see the absolute joy these birds exhibit doing whatever they want to do, as you put it. Splashing, vigorous tail-wagging, swimming underwater and popping up fifteen feet from where they submerged, the usual upside-down fishing, wings flapping beating the water.... They eat some of the corn we put out for them, then rush off in a group to harvest some sort of bug, i suppose. Back for more corn. A swim and splash. Digging in the mud. Busy, busy, busy. Maybe it is irresponsible to give them the freedom, but i would hate to take away their joy. I have done it both ways over the years as far as confined and not confined, and the life of a duck is vastly different in both scenarios.

    In the meantime, we will be doing what we can about the turtles and hope they will start using the raft and house we built for them.
     

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